The Fair Housing Law

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII (Fair Housing Act of 1988) and Chapter 4112 of the Ohio Revised Code prohibit discrimination in housing.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing because of:

  • Race or color
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Familial Status  (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women and people securing custody of children under 18)
  • Handicap  (mental or physical)
  • Military Status
  • Ancestry

In the Sale and Rental of Housing:  No one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, handicap or ancestry:

  • Refuse to rent or sell housing
  • Refuse to negotiate for housing
  • Deny a dwelling
  • Set different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Provide different housing services or facilities
  • Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection sale or rental
  • Persuade owners to sell or rent (block busting)      or
  • Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service (such as multiple listing service) related to the sale or rental of housing

In Addition:  It is illegal for anyone to:

  • Threaten, coerce, intimidate, or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right or assisting others who exercise that right based on national origin, religion, sex familial status, handicap, or ancestry.

Some examples of illegal housing discrimination?

  • Refusing to rent to a family with children.  (Unless housing is specifically and exclusively designated for older persons.)
  • Restricting families with children to certain buildings or floors.
  • Requiring families with children (or any protected group) to pay higher deposits.  (Owner is allowed to charge a separate security deposit for pets.)
  • Steering African Americans (or any protected group) to certain parts of a community.
  • Stating that a unit is not available when it is.
  • Refusing to make loans in certain neighborhoods.
  • Suggesting that a person can pay for their deposit with sexual favors.
  • Asking a person with a disability if they really are allowed to live on their own.
  • Refusing to allow a person who is visually impaired to move into a unit with their assisted animal.
  • Building a large, new apartment building that has no accessible units.
  • Advertising a unit using terms like: Christian couple wanted; adults only or ideal for one person.

Why is it important to fight discrimination?

When acts of illegal housing discrimination are allowed to occur or continue in a community there are many consequences. Housing discrimination tears at the fabric of a community and encourages an environment where disputes escalate. Unchecked, housing discrimination encourages the racism and bigotry that fuel these actions. Acts of housing discrimination that go unchallenged send a message of apathy throughout a community and result in reduced efforts to seek help when it is needed. Housing discrimination leads to segregated neighborhoods and feeds the stereotypes that form the basis for discrimination. Where discrimination flourishes so does a lack of respect for all cultures. Housing discrimination works to perpetuate other housing problems, such as tight housing markets, substandard housing and homelessness.